What is the one question every woman with belly bloat dreads hearing?
If you suffer from stomach bloating, you will instantly know the answer to this question.
Let me tell you a story.
I used to regularly watch my son at his tennis lesson. One particular time, I’d met a friend for lunch and we were late to the lesson so we had to stand by the side as all of the benches were taken. I was chatting away to my friend when all of a sudden I felt a tug at my elbow. It was a woman about the same age as me and she was pointing at her seat. “Would you like to sit down’ she said. I was kinda confused. I declined her kind offer and explained that I was with my friend and we were happy to stand. ‘Oh, ok, I just thought I’d ask since you are pregnant’ she replied.
I looked at my friend and then back at the woman. ‘I’m not pregnant’ I replied.
And there you have it. How to ruin someone’s day with one sentence. On behalf of my fellow women belly-bloat sufferers I would like to state something for the record. If you are a serial pregnancy-asker, please stop. Don’t ask unless you are 100% sure. Don’t offer us your seat, don’t whisper ‘when is it due’ or ‘congratulations’ with a wink and please, please do not pat our tummies with a knowing nod. There’s nothing in there but our lunch!
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY
If you suffer from stomach bloat you know that it can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing. One day you look like a perfectly normal human being and the next you look like Mr Greedy at an all-you-can-eat buffet! It can affect your mood, self-esteem and mindset as well as your clothing options and it’s the kind of thing you wish would just go away. It used to drive me cray-zee which is why I decided to do something about it.
I have been doing some pretty high-tech research involving extensive in-the-field trials on a test subject (AKA me.) This blog post is the result of approximately 15 years of trial and error. I can’t claim that it provides a perfect solution for everyone. What works for me may not work for you and vice versa, however, I have found success with these methods. Give them a try and note your progress.
It’s time to beat the bloat!
6 REASONS WHY YOUR STOMACH IS BLOATED
*This post contains affiliate links
#1 YOU DON’T DRINK ENOUGH WATER
This is my number one tip. Although it seems counter intuitive, drinking water can help with bloating. The more you drink, the more you use the bathroom. This wakes up your metabolism and flushes toxins from your system. Try drinking an 8oz glass of water as soon as you wake up. You can add a slice of lemon or a cube of fresh ginger as an extra detox booster if you like. An added beneficial side effect is that water fills out your cells and improves your skin. Drink more water for a week and see how you feel. For healthy fruit infused recipes, see my blog post: Fruit Infused Water: Bottoms Up!
#2 YOU HAVEN’T DISCOVERED THE DELIGHTS OF HERBAL TEA
Green tea is especially good for you. It is an anti-oxidant and can aid weight loss as it contains a chemical (EGCG) which burns fat. Add ginger and lemon for extra taste. Peppermint, oolong, apple or chamomile tea can also be very effective if drunk every day. Experiment and see what works best for your body. I love the brands below, click on the images to take a look.
#3 YOU CONSUME TOO MUCH DAIRY
Lactose and milk sugars are hard to digest. They slow down your digestive system and lead to gas and bloating. In addition to this, high fat dairy has recently been linked to breast cancer. If you find it hard to give up your cheese and yogurt, try aged products which should be lower in lactose.
#4 YOUR DIET CONTAINS TOO MUCH SALT AND/OR PROCESSED FOODS
Eating fast food or food made with lots of added chemicals is a real bloat booster. Too much salt causes your body to retain water. Eat a clean diet with lots of healthy fruit and vegetables. If you are unsure how to do this you can check on Pinterest for clean eating inspiration. There are thousands of recipes for you to try for every budget and palate.
#5 YOU AREN’T EATING THE RIGHT VEGETABLES
Some fruits and vegetables cause excessive gas. If your digestive system finds foods difficult to break down, the result is leftover gas which in turn causes bloating. Check out the list below for the most likely culprits but bear in mind that foods and sodas flavored with artificial sweeteners and/or fructose also cause bloating.
FRUITS: bananas, peaches, apricots, raisins, grapes prunes.
VEGGIES: brussels sprouts, celery, peas, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, onions, asparagus.
#6 YOU AREN’T POOPING REGULARLY
If you are feeling bloated and don’t poop regularly you are most likely constipated and need more fiber in your diet. Insoluble fiber is fiber that cannot be broken down by your body. It remains undigested and helps the food that is broken down to pass out of the body easily. Before you get all excited and start eating handfuls of bran I need to add a word of caution here. Increasing your intake of fiber will increase the amount of gas your body produces until you get used to it. Build up gradually and note the difference. You may also want to add a natural laxative such as prune juice, chia seeds or lemon water.
HIGH FIBER FOODS: avocados, berries, peas, figs, artichokes, lentils. See Dr Axe for more.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL …
What is causing your bloated stomach? Keeping a daily journal of what you are eating and drinking can be an effective way of identifying your bely bloat triggers. In reality, however, women that I have spoken to find this habit tricky to maintain and they give up. I have an alternative solution.
Instead of writing what you eat and drink each day, make your records retrospective. In other words, wait until you have a bloating incident and then work backwards. Record what you ate and drank on that day and try eliminating those foods and drinks for the next 7 days. Defeating belly bloat is not an exact science and there is a great deal of trial and error involved.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED?
- Experiment with different methods to see what works best for your body.
- Don’t give up. If you try one thing and it isn’t effective, try something else. You may need to combine a number of the methods in order to keep belly bloat at bay.
- Take special note of your dairy intake as dairy is the number one bloating culprit.
- If you do nothing else, drink more water.
Please leave a comment below if bloating has been an issue for you or if you have any solutions that have worked particularly well. As always, I love to hear from you.